Fritz Meier



Fritz Meier (1912-1998) was a Swiss Orientalist with a focus on
Sufism Sufism ( ar, ''aṣ-ṣūfiyya''), also known as Tasawwuf ( ''at-taṣawwuf''), is a mystic body of religious practice, found mainly within Sunni Islam but also within Shia Islam, which is characterized by a focus on Islamic spirituality, ...


Fritz Meier was born on 10 June 1912 in
Basel Basel ( , ), also known as Basle ( ),french: Bâle ; it, Basilea ; rm, label= Sutsilvan, Basileia; other rm, Basilea . is a city in northwestern Switzerland on the river Rhine. Basel is Switzerland's third-most-populous city (after Zürich a ...
. He grew up in the
Canton of Basel-Landschaft Basel-Landschaft or Basel-Country informally known as Baselland or Baselbiet (; german: Kanton Basel-Landschaft ; rm, Chantun Basilea-Champagna; french: Canton de Bâle-Campagne; it, Canton Basilea Campagna), is one of the 26 cantons forming ...
and attended the Humanistisches Gymnasium. Beginning in 1932 he studied Greek philology, Semitics, and
Assyriology Assyriology (from Greek , ''Assyriā''; and , ''-logia'') is the archaeological, anthropological, and linguistic study of Assyria and the rest of ancient Mesopotamia (a region that encompassed what is now modern Iraq, northeastern Syria, southea ...
at the University of Basel. He soon switched to Islamic studies and became a student of the Ottomanist and historian Rudolf Tschudi (1884-1960), under whose supervision he earned his doctorate, with a thesis on the life of the
Sufi Sufism ( ar, ''aṣ-ṣūfiyya''), also known as Tasawwuf ( ''at-taṣawwuf''), is a mystic body of religious practice, found mainly within Sunni Islam but also within Shia Islam, which is characterized by a focus on Islamic spirituality, r ...
Abu Ishaq al-Kazaruni. In 1935 he followed Hellmut Ritter (1892-1971) to Istanbul, where he made his way to academic work. In 1963 he was habilitated. Meier was granted an honorary doctorate by the
University of Tehran The University of Tehran (Tehran University or UT, fa, دانشگاه تهران) is the most prominent university located in Tehran, Iran. Based on its historical, socio-cultural, and political pedigree, as well as its research and teaching pro ...
in 1974 and by the
University of Freiburg The University of Freiburg (colloquially german: Uni Freiburg), officially the Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg (german: Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg), is a public research university located in Freiburg im Breisgau, Baden-Württemb ...
in 1992. From 1986 on he was a corresponding member of the
Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities The Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (German: ''Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften''), established in 1909 in Heidelberg, Germany, is an assembly of scholars and scientists in the German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg. The Acad ...
. His writings exerted a great deal of influence on the academic world. He wrote about the many forms of Islamic mysticism, Islamic manuscripts of the Persian and Arabic languages, the relationship between the Middle East and European cultural history, the history of religion in general, and popular culture. His works on the great Persian mystic Abū-Sa'īd Abul-Khayr and the Persian poet Mahsati are considered some of the most comprehensive research available on the subjects. He died in
Dornach : ''Dornach is also a quarter of the French city of Mulhouse and the Scots name for Dornoch in the Scottish Highlands, and Dòrnach is the Gaelic name for Dornoch in the Scottish Highlands.'' Dornach (Swiss German: ''Dornech'') is a municipali ...
on 10 June 1998.


* ''Die Vita des Scheich Abū Isḥāq al-Kāzarūnī''. (Diss.) Bibliotheca Islamica, Leipzig 1948. * ''Vom Wesen der islamischen Mystik''. Basel 1943. * ''Die Fawāʾiḥ al-ǧamāl wa-fawātiḥ al-ǧalāl des Naǧm ad-dīn al-Kubrā.'' Eine Darstellung mystischer Erfahrungen im Islam aus der Zeit um 1200 n. Chr. Wiesbaden 1957. * ''Die schöne Mahsatī.'' Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte des persischen Vierzeilers. Wiesbaden 1963. * ''Abū Saʿīd-i Abū l-Ḫayr. Wirklichkeit und Legende.'' Acta Iranica 11, Leiden 1976. * ''Bahāʾ-i Walad. Grundzüge seines Lebens und seiner Mystik.'' Acta Iranica 27, Leiden 1989. * ''Meister und Schüler im Orden der Naqšbandiyya.'' Universitatsverlag C. Winter, Heidelberg 1995. * ''Bemerkungen zur Mohammedverehrung. Teil 1: Die Segenssprechung über Mohammed.'' Nachgelassene Schriften I, 1, Leiden 2002.


* *
MEIER, Fritz
in the
İslâm Ansiklopedisi The ''İslâm Ansiklopedisi'' (İA) () is a Turkish language, Turkish academic encyclopedia for Islamic studies published by ' ( eng, Turkish Religious Foundation). Its most recent 44-volume edition, called ''Türkiye Diyanet Vakfı İslâm ...


1912 births 1998 deaths Swiss orientalists Iranologists Islamic studies scholars {{Switzerland-academic-bio-stub